PM wants Lanka to look at English cricket team for guidance on strength through diversity

... blames lack of majority in parliament for the failure to resolve ethnic issue


Sri Lankans must look to the English cricket team and learn that diversity is the strength of a nation, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said, addressing a meeting in Chunnakam, Jaffna earlier this week.

"The English national team is diverse and that is their strength. We too must think like the Sri Lankan nation," he said.

Wickremesinghe said that a number of English players were recent migrants to England, including the captain of the team. "Even Ben Stokes, the man who led the team to victory is a migrant. Some players migrated to England less than 10 years ago. You can see how fast the assimilation process there is."

A political solution to the ethnic problem would be given within the next two years, he said. Although he attempted to evolve a solution to issue, the lack of a clear majority in Parliament had stood in his way, the Prime Minister said.

"I am committed to the devolution of power based on the 13th Amendment. We had a plan but we couldn’t implement it because we didn’t have a majority in Parliament. However, I will reiterate that the party and I are committed to the devolution of power. We will create a devolution mechanism that is acceptable to all ethnic groups.

"PM Wickremesinghe said that when he was the minister of education, in the 1980s, Colombo and Jaffna had been high performing districts. "However, Jaffna has fallen behind due to the war and the tsunami. We must develop Jaffna and make it the hub of education it was in the 1980s."

The government gives priority to the development of education in the North and thus the state minister for education, Vijayakala Maheswaran was appointed from Jaffna.

"A lot of MPs from Jaffna are also interested in developing education. So, I have asked Maheswaran to talk to all stakeholders and come up with a five-year plan to develop education in the district."


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